Functional diversities of two activity components of circadian rhythm in genetical splitting mice (CS strain)
CS mice, an inbred strain, showed two distinctive characteristics in the circadian rhythm of locomotor activity: (1) large variation in the freerunning period, and (2) spontaneous rhythm splitting under continuous darkness. In the splitting rhythm there was a positive correlation between the freerunning period of the evening component and the activity time of the morning component. The phase-shifting effect of a 15-min light pulse was examined on the two activity components of the splitting rhythm. There were significant differences in the amount of light-induced phase response between the two components. A light pulse during the late subjective night induced a phase advance shift only in the morning component, while a light pulse during the early subjective night induced a phase delay shift only in the evening component. These results indicate functional diversities of the two activity components in the circadian locomotor rhythm of CS mice, and suggest that the circadian system in CS mice consists of two mutually coupled oscillators which have different circadian periods and different responsiveness to light. The CS mouse is a useful model to explore a genetic background of oscillator coupling in the circadian system of nocturnal rodents.